Recently, at a conference of priests, the importance of the present moment was stressed by one of the presenters. In fact, he pointed out, how in the spiritual life this present moment should be seen as the sacrament of the present moment. It is in the now of the moment that we can become aware of God’s presence within our lives. By looking on it as the sacrament of the present moment we become like the saints who were very much aware of God working in the now of their lives.
Our Gospel tells us that there was a wedding feast at Cana in Galilee and that the “mother of Jesus was there.” She is the one who seizes the moment to save the day because her life was totally open to God at each moment. The text mentions the disciples of Jesus were invited and Jesus, too. Was it they who drank all the wine? Remember this was real Galilean wine, not grape juice!
This wedding feast is a great example for us to cherish the sacrament of the present moment. Mary is the one to focus on for this point in the text. It is she who becomes aware of the lack of wine which would then cause shame for the family and for the bride and groom at the greatest day in their life. She is aware that something has to be done and that she trusts in her belief that God can help in this situation. She therefore brings it to the attention of her son, Jesus, but he seems to push the idea aside while at the same time saying his time had not come. Actually, the word is “hour” not time and it means in this Gospel that hour of his suffering and death—the Paschal hour.
Mary says, “They have no wine.” She trusts that Jesus will become aware and interested in doing something. Her next words are meant for the servants to get involved in the presence and to “Do whatever he, Jesus, tells you.” We are also the servants that should listen to her pointing us in our present moment to Jesus her son. By her calling all to participate in the present moment the very presence of God’s action through Jesus takes place and there is so much wine that has been changed from the water that they are able to fill six jars each containing about twenty-eight gallons!
The symbolism of the water helps us to think of our Baptism; while the ongoing process of pouring the water into the jars makes us think of the wine, the symbol in this event for the Eucharist. John’s Gospel is a sacramental one and therefore is also one of the sacrament of the moment writings.
Mary knew in her heart that God is present and is concerned about the newly weds and their family and their guests; hospitality is one of the greatest virtues of the Jewish people and of Jesus and his friends.
“Mary, help us to be aware of the presence of Jesus in our lives at this very moment and in each moment. Your trust in Jesus shows us that God works with us when we become aware of God’s presence who is working with us at every moment of our lives. May we daily listen to the words of your Son, “Do whatever he tells you. Amen.”
Copyright 2013 Fr. Bertrand Buby, SM